THE GREEDY OVERTRICK (II) by Stephen Rzewski Matchpoints ♠ K ♥ KQ108 ♦ A72 ♣ AK1064 ♠ 87532 ♥ AJ942 ♦ 6 ♣ 83 bidding: N E S W 1♣ P 1♥ 2♦ 4♥ (all pass) opening lead: ♦K This deal came up at a local club game, slightly amended. With such poor spades and a weak hand overall, South decided to show his better suit, thinking that he may get only one opportunity to bid, and he might not want to play spades anyway unless partner could bid them. Just as in our previous example on this subject, the contract is normal and will undoubtedly be the one played at most tables. In order to achieve a good matchpoint result, it may be necessary to bring in overtricks that might be missed by the rest of the field. How would you plan the play? When a hand is two-suited, it is usually good strategy for declarer to try to establish his second suit, ruffing leads of that suit in the dummy, if necessary. Ruffing in the hand with shorter trump length (typically dummy) usually gains tricks as well, since the greater trump length in declarer's hand is maintained in the process. In this case, however, declarer's spades are so poor and difficult to establish that it is better to work on the superior club suit and make dummy the master hand. Since the most likely club division is 4-2, one may have to ruff clubs twice in order to make the 5th club good. There is a further advantage in making dummy the master hand: since declarer's hand has a singleton diamond, both of dummy's small diamonds can also be ruffed out. The technique of ruffing in the long hand to the point where dummy's trump length eventually exceeds that of declarer's is known as "reversing the dummy". For this type of play to be successful, one needs: (1) trumps in the short hand which are strong enough to eventually draw the opponents' trumps (assuming that trumps will need to be drawn), (2) a number of ruffs to be available in the long hand, which will result in a total net gain of tricks, and (3) sufficient entries to the short hand needed to execute those maneuvers. In this example, you may want to take as many as four minor-suit ruffs in your hand, and you will therefore need to delay the drawing of trumps and make maximum use of dummy's entries. Accordingly, win the opening lead with the ace of diamonds and ruff a diamond immediately. Next play a club to the king, ruff dummy's last diamond, and then play a second club to dummy's ace. Both opponents follow to this trick, leaving: ♠ K ♥ KQ108 ♦ ---- ♣ 1064 ♠ 87532 ♥ AJ4 ♦ ---- ♣ ---- Now lead a third round of clubs from dummy. On the actual hand, East will follow with the jack, and you should take care to ruff high to prevent a possible overruff, which proves to be necessary, as West shows out, discarding a diamond. Now lead your low trump to dummy, and when both opponents follow, you are assured of twelve tricks. Lead a 4th round of clubs next; East will play the queen as you ruff with your last trump in hand, the ace. Dummy's 5th club is now good. At this point, simply exit with a spade, conceding that trick, then ruff the continuation and draw the remaining trumps with the KQ in dummy. The full deal: ♠ K ♥ KQ108 ♦ A72 ♣ AK1064 ♠ AQJ4 ♠ 1096 ♥ 7 ♥ 653 ♦ KQJ1093 ♦ 854 ♣ 97 ♣ QJ52 ♠ 87532 ♥ AJ942 ♦ 6 ♣ 83 As one might expect, the majority of scores on this deal were +620 and +650; only two pairs found the dummy reversal and tied for top with +680.